There are both national and local organizations and agencies that will offer support groups and self-help for people with bipolar disorder and their families. Some groups will be specific to bipolar disorder; others will be more inclusive of people with a variety of mental illnesses. Increasingly, the internet has also become a source on online chat rooms and virtual support groups for people with bipolar disorder and their families and loved ones.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) boasts over one thousand support groups nationwide. To locate a group, visit their website at www.dbsalliance.org or contact them at: (800) 826 -3632.
Local groups can also be found through Mental Health America, formerly the National Mental Health Association, at www.nmha.org
The National Alliance on Mental Illness www.nami.org has chapters and groups in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. They have also established chapters on many college campuses. They maintain a list of contacts on their website and they have a toll free information number 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
In addition to these national organizations many communities, especially urban ones, will have additional peer and family support groups through club houses for people with mental health issues. Many mental health clinics, community hospitals, and religious organizations will also sponsor groups. If your community supports an information line (211), they will likely have information on existing groups, meeting times, locations and contacts.